From the water to the web, turtles keep in touch

Filed under: Pine Knoll Shores by pineknollshores on Friday, October 18th, 2013
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Track a sea turtle released Oct. 17.

They’re not exactly tweeting updates but some sea turtles released Nov. 5 are letting land-dwellers know their whereabouts via the web.  Transmitters on their shells periodically pinpoint their locations through satellite technology similar to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The public as well as researchers can access the information via a website dedicated to tracking aquatic wildlife.

Click to see the sea turtle’s travels at www.seaturtle.org. The turtles are listed under the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Awareness Program.

The six already had some travel stories behind them when they slid into the ocean 32 miles offshore, near the Gulf Stream’s warm water.  The three yearlings and three two-year-olds were all stragglers from Emerald Isle nests that couldn’t make it to the ocean. They were brought to the Aquarium for care, like dozens of other distressed hatchlings each year. Most are released as soon as they are strong enough. But these were selected as ambassadors for their kind and went to other Aquariums as far away as California for educational programs and exhibits.

The facilities collaborated with the Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores  on the tagging effort. The lightweight transmitters, affixed to the shells with epoxy, don’t impede movement and eventually fall off. For unknown reasons, some stop transmitting ju

In addition to the two tagged turtles, the Aquarium also released 10 loggerhead hatchlings from the 2013 season, four yearling loggerheads and two yearling green sea turtles. The Aquarium works with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to care for imperiled hatchlings from area beaches. Most are released as soon as they regain strength. A few stay at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores or go to other aquariums for educational exhibits or programs before their release.